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Visit Day Questions & Strategies


TransnationalHistory
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I know there is another board for this, but I figure a lot of questions are specific to the program...what we care about will be different than a MFA prospective or an engineer.

Anyway, my question is purely logistical/economic. My two campus visits are schedule back to back. Vanderbilt is 18-19, and Michigan is 20-22. I've yet to get a schedule from Vanderbilt, but I'm guessing that means they expect me to leave on the 19th....however Michigan is organized to welcome students on the 20th. So I'm not sure where to stay then. Additionally, I'm not sure which school should pay for the Nashville to Ann Arbor ticket. Do schools ever split the cost? I know Michigan has their own travel agency that they connect you with. I have no idea how Vanderbilt works, or if they even pay for travel expenses at all....they just mentioned I was invited to visit when I got my acceptance. If anyone has any experience with this I'd appreciate any advice. Thanks!

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In the letter of acceptance from Vanderbilt they should have explained if they were going to book your flight or refund the flight. I think Vanderbilt has a travel agency that takes care of this over the phone. At least this was my experience with Vanderbilt two years ago for a prospective weekend where McNair Scholars were brought from just about every state. I would chose that either Vanderbilt or Michigan pay for it. It might sound kind of unfair but unless you are planning on booking this flight yourself and sending half the bill to each one, I would just ask one or the other.

The best way to find out the situation on flights is to call or email. They are really friendly from my my experience. If they say they will refund your travel expences and you don't have any funds just be up front and let them know your situation; they will pay for your flight.

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I have a couple questions about recruiting weekend and visits to prospective universities. Maybe those with experience with these visits can tell me/us a little more. Besides having read the research of our propective advisors what kinds of questions do they ask? Possibly about our future research plans or research in the past that we have done? Who we have worked with at our universities?

What kinds of questions besides financial/ health insurance questions should we ask?

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In the letter of acceptance from Vanderbilt they should have explained if they were going to book your flight or refund the flight. I think Vanderbilt has a travel agency that takes care of this over the phone. At least this was my experience with Vanderbilt two years ago for a prospective weekend where McNair Scholars were brought from just about every state. I would chose that either Vanderbilt or Michigan pay for it. It might sound kind of unfair but unless you are planning on booking this flight yourself and sending half the bill to each one, I would just ask one or the other.

The best way to find out the situation on flights is to call or email. They are really friendly from my my experience. If they say they will refund your travel expences and you don't have any funds just be up front and let them know your situation; they will pay for your flight.

What would you say about the extra day? I'm guessing Vanderbilt will want to get rid of my on the 19th, but if Michigan won't take me till the 20th, then I have nowhere to stay the night of the 19th...could I ask Vanderbilt to pay for an extra night if they only have to pay for a one-way ticket maybe?

As for your question, I asked a professor at Michigan who contacted me if there was anything I needed to bring to the visit. They made it clear they don't expect anything from prospective students...it's mostly them selling the school to you. So certainly prepare questions to ask the professors you are interested in, but I wouldn't worry about getting any tough questions directed your way.

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I think it really depends on where you live. If you can fly early enough from Nashville to make it home and catch the flight next morning (check available flights) to make the Michigan recruitment on time then that would work. I highly doubt Vanderbilt will want to pay for another day of hotel stay if they don't have to. The best way to deal with this situation is to be up front. They know you have other offers--call the history recruitment coordinator and let him/her know the situation. Tell them that you need an extra night of hotel stay and you won't need a flight back. Worse comes to worse just pay for an extra night and coordinate for a airbus shuttle to pick you up or wait it out at the airport.

I have a visit to Davis March 5-6th and U of Chicago's visit March 6-7th. Unfortunately, there are no flights from Sacramento to Chicago that afternoon so I have to fly back to LAX then take an overnight flight to Chicago. I will miss the field dinner that late evening but I will be there early morning (with blood shot red eyes) for history day. I guess that's the way things go. Thanks for your response on the questions for advisor and vice versa.

Anyone else with comments or experiences with recruitment weekend? I think the hardest part for me will be rejecting one school over another. I have never been good at "break up" thing in relationships. I tend to make them break up with me. This is going to be hard.

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Hi Transnational,

I'm not sure about the extra night, but like others have suggested, I would just be upfront about it. The worst they can say is no. Maybe you can pay for an extra night in either place and take the time to explore the city on your own?

I just wanted to also point out, if you were not aware, that the itinerary for UM stated that they would pay airline tickets between two destinations, if need be, rather than simply a round trip ticket. In other words, it sounds like they would pay for you to fly from Vanderbilt to UM and then UM to home. They definitely understand that this is recruitment time!

My visit is the same date as yours even though your an Africanist. I hope we get to meet!

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At my institution, we have gone out of our way to let students know that if they want/need to arrive a bit earlier or stay a bit longer than the official schedule, we'll accommodate them. We've always had students flying in from other coasts or even countries -- there's only but so much you can do to get people into town right as the program begins. You'll be staying with current students, anyhow, right? So write to whomever is organizing hosting, explain the situation, and ask if you can arrive the night before. Chances are it's no problem on their side. Worst case scenario is that you might have to take the shuttle from the Detroit airport to Ann Arbor if nobody can pick you up.

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At my institution, we have gone out of our way to let students know that if they want/need to arrive a bit earlier or stay a bit longer than the official schedule, we'll accommodate them. We've always had students flying in from other coasts or even countries -- there's only but so much you can do to get people into town right as the program begins. You'll be staying with current students, anyhow, right? So write to whomever is organizing hosting, explain the situation, and ask if you can arrive the night before. Chances are it's no problem on their side. Worst case scenario is that you might have to take the shuttle from the Detroit airport to Ann Arbor if nobody can pick you up.

Yep. Schools know that other schools are hosting recruitment days and prospectives are often moving between them. You may even find yourself on a flight w/someone else from your schools. Just ask! If they're putting you up in a hotel, they may not be able to pay for an additional night but there are probably some students in the program who would host you. Or figure out where you can get a cheap hotel room, stay there, and book the flights accordingly. At this point, schools have admitted you; as long as you're polite, there's no harm in asking for help. Just be polite -- admins will remember the non-polite people.

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I'm off to two visit days in the next two weeks. I know that this seems like a silly question, but what should I wear? It is easier for guys, pants, shirt, tie, etc. But, women have so many more options. Dress, skirt, suit (pants or skirt). Both are in the south, so walking around campus will be warm, but dressing appropriately is key. Any advice?

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For anyone in a similar fix, in the end Vanderbilt was willing to put me up for an extra night, and even offered to help me find other things to do with my extra day. They were very friendly about it.

As for the question above, am I the only one not worried about dress? I think if you're presenting at a conference and thus representing the university, and on their dime to boot, it is appropriate to dress professionally. But in this case the only thing you're representing is yourself, and they've already accepted you. I really don't think there is a wrong answer as to what to wear--if you feel more comfortable/confident dressed up, then dress up. Personally, I feel more myself in jeans, so that's what I'm going to do. I highly doubt anyone's admission was ever rescinded based on clothing choice. Just my gut feeling though, as I've yet to attend one of these yet. I am definitely going to read more books/articles by the professors I want to work with to prepare.

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<br />I'm off to two visit days in the next two weeks. I know that this seems like a silly question, but what should I wear? It is easier for guys, pants, shirt, tie, etc. But, women have so many more options. Dress, skirt, suit (pants or skirt). Both are in the south, so walking around campus will be warm, but dressing appropriately is key. Any advice?<br />
<br /><br /><br />

I'd say probably dressing nicely, but not all the way towards a suit...business casual? From what I've seen so far there's also a fair number of people wearing jeans, but slightly more dressy darker ones usually. (Not sure if this was to do with it being in the cold north and so slightly less dressing up was expected) For mine I wore a blazer w/ jeans one day and slacks the other day.

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I went to the Yale visiting day this past week and almost everyone wore jeans and sneakers, men and women. It was quite informal even at the seemingly more formal-type events like the welcome dinner or whatnot. I had originally thought of wearing a sport coat and shoes, but even that would've put me way outside the norm. Just my .02...

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Transnational, Michigan is putting us up in a hotel, yes? I seem to remember that from when I toured as an MA student, but they haven't mentioned the exact plans in their emails yet. I just got the financial offer via email. Got a lot to think about for my questions on Visit Day. Not even sure where to start!

---

Applied: Harvard (Hist and East Asian Lang), Berkeley (Hist), Ohio State (Hist), UMichigan (Hist), Hawaii (Hist), Pittsburgh (Hist)

Accepted: Harvard, Berkeley, UMichigan, Ohio State, Pittsburgh

Rejected:

Edited by Paura
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Transnational, Michigan is putting us up in a hotel, yes? I seem to remember that from when I toured as an MA student, but they haven't mentioned the exact plans in their emails yet. I just got the financial offer via email. Got a lot to think about for my questions on Visit Day. Not even sure where to start!

Yeah, did you get the letter of invitation for the visit? I got mine Feb 25th, and attached to that letter was an itinerary with the lodging mentioned at the top--Campus Inn. If you didn't get that letter for some reason, I'd just email Kathleen King, she was the one who sent it.

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Yeah, did you get the letter of invitation for the visit? I got mine Feb 25th, and attached to that letter was an itinerary with the lodging mentioned at the top--Campus Inn. If you didn't get that letter for some reason, I'd just email Kathleen King, she was the one who sent it.

Ah yes, there it is. This is me not being observant. Thanks! :) Kind of a hectic time for me right now. What do you think is going to be your most important topic/deciding factor? I feel like there's so many questions I have for the visiting day, but when I try to set them down to paper I'm not sure what to write.

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Ah yes, there it is. This is me not being observant. Thanks! :) Kind of a hectic time for me right now. What do you think is going to be your most important topic/deciding factor? I feel like there's so many questions I have for the visiting day, but when I try to set them down to paper I'm not sure what to write.

Check the second post in this thread: It's a pretty impressive list.

I'm mainly looking for fit, which to me means a place that will support the work I want to do, with people who I will enjoy working with and learning from. I'm looking forward to seeing the library, meeting faculty, and listening to the current grad students. When I visited the place I went to for undergrad I just got a gut feeling that it was the right place for me, and I'm hoping I'll experience the same feeling on at a least one of my visits....it will certainly make uprooting my life a lot easier.

Edited by TransnationalHistory
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Well for me personally, I'm looking for a collegial vibe and and encouraging atmosphere. I do not thrive under cut-throat competition. So, when I visit, I'm going to try and feel out the faculty and the fellow graduate students to see if everyone gets along and encourages each other's scholarship.

Thanks, Iknownothing. Same question at you! :)

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Yeah, the atmosphere is definitely important. I made my decision about OSU versus Michigan for my MA partly based on that. At the time OSU felt more right. And as for the cut-throat environment, I completely agree! When I toured OSU, one of the professors in the department made it a point to tell me that they had a zero-tolerance policy towards people who took that kind of attitude, and once even took actions against a student for it. It's nice to have a supportive environment and I've definitely felt it since I've been here.

I think a combination of atmosphere (town and student/faculty) and language availability will end up making my decision.

Thanks for the link! :)

Edited by Paura
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